Amiga Organizers

Let your Amiga Organize your life, but not until after you've read this comparison between two of the latest.



Everyone knows that their Amiga can play great games, be used to add titles to their home videos, word process, ray trace, image process, web browse and do a plethora of other things. Two commercial progams, "Nag" and "Who, What, Where, When," were released long ago to hold your addresses and appointments, but nowadays these are dated if you can even find them. Well, thanks to PD and shareware the Amiga has two new organizers for you to choose from. Both run under the latest OS and support all Amiga graphics modes. So, without further ado I'll introduce you to Everyday Organizer and Up To Date


Everyday Organizer V2.10

This is the latest version of a freeware organizer for the Amiga. This organizer comes in three parts. OnTime and Alarmist are designed to work together to notify you both visually and verbally of your appointments while Locate keeps track of your addresses and phone numbers.

Installation: This is made easy by a thorough installation script which either creates a new directory in the specified location or locates the directory of an older version to write over it. Alarmist is placed in your WBStartup drawer. As a commodity it sits in the background ready to, for lack of a better term, alarm you. But more on that later.

Use: Using Alarmist is easy. After installation you need just to use Exchange to call up its interface from where you can enter single alarm events and manage your other alarm events using the "new, Copy, Edit, Remove and Toggle buttons. You then press the use or save button to send Alarmist back into waiting with your events list, or cancel. To enter more advanced scheduling information you will need to use On Time. This program opens a calander on todays date. You simply click on the desired date, and use the same group of buttons as in Alarmist to create or edit an Event, Task or Note. Event types can be anything including TV shows, Birthdays, Anniversaries (guys take note), Holidays, Appointments, Bills, or anything else you need to keep track of. In the case of birthdays, Alarmist will remind you of the special event whenever you turn on your Amiga that day. This is because Alarmist checks On Times list on startup. Alarmists reminder takes the form of both an on-screen pop-up and a verbal announcement using the translator.library. Events have both a start and end date and a start and end time, if applicable. Tasks only have start and end dates and Notes have only a single date. The last part of Everyday Organizer is Locate, the address book. Entering your addresses and phone numbers is easy using the same well-defined buttons that permeate this software package. Once entered you can either search by hand through the list or use the convenient search field to find what you are looking for. You can also do this in On Time to locate a specific schedule item. To protect your valuable information, Locate allows you to password- protect your data files and, since the data is saved as text, it also allows you to encrypt the datafile. Lastly, Locate allows you to enter up to four separate phone numbers or Email addresses for each person and will dial that number for you using your modem. Although Locate is able to sense my modem, so far I have not been able to get this feature to work. This brings us to:

Configuration: Each of the three parts of Everyday organizer have a button clearly marked config. This brings you to the configuration for that specific program. For Locate you can specify encryption, data file to load on startup, password and field names among other things. The configuration of field names is important since Locate is set up for European addresses; some users like me have to make some slight modifications. Alarmist's configuration allows you to change the titlebar clock, the hourly chime, popup and snooze keys, and other preferences. On Time is so ready to use I have never had to even use its configuration but it allows you to, among other things, change the date format, search case sensitivity, and add classes of events. Configuration of the interface of these three programs is through MUI allowing all the flexibility of the MUI system through Everyday Organizer.

Everyday Organizer

Matthew Wilson

Box 6022, halifax Street Post Office
Adelaide SA, 5000
AUSTRALIA
Write to him at email address dcottrel@adam.com
ATTRIBUTES
PERCENTAGE
COMMENT
Installation:
Ease of use:
Compatibility:
Performance:
Features:
Interaction with company:
97%
97%
99%
90%
83%
NAA
Uses Commodore's Installer program
With MUI, it can really be made to look great.
Integrates well with system software
Very good
Enough for personal use.
NA
Overall Score:
93.2%
A very good and easy-to-use organizer for basic home use.

SYSTEM REQUIREMENTS

Amiga, AmigaDOS 2.0, Motorola 68000, Hard Disk with at least 1 Meg free space, MUI 3.3
(Required)

Up To Date V2.0 Demo

Up To Date is a shareware package from Up To Date Solutions. Registering will allow you to save your information as the demo has this feature disabled. It does however, come with a sample to show you what data would look like. You first must run the setup program to tell Up To Date what screenmode to use. Then you are free to run the main program. Unlike Everyday Organizer, Up To Date is just one program with a number of separate modules.

Use:When you run Up To Date, you are greeted with a titlebar clock hovering over your Workbench. Pressing the right mouse button brings down the main menu from which you can gain direct access to your time, week, and appointment scheduling, addresses, a text editor, and the all-important organizer itself. The managers and schedules allow you to input new events or records and open up simple screens with text fields. The organizer greets you with what looks just like an organizer you'd buy at the local stationary store, including a personalized cover with your name. Pressing the tabs brings you to the different sections, each with a calendar on the right hand page and a list on the left. The tabs separate your appointments, tasks and projects, anniversaries, and your week and month overviews.

The buttons under the organizer seem straightforward, but all might not be as it seems. You would think that the "new" button would create a new event, but this seems not to be the case. You create a new event by selecting the day on the calendar then double-clicking with the left mouse button on the list page. You are then greeted with the requester for giving the specifics of the event. Graphically you can tell what days have schedule items because they are marked with an X and can also be given a second graphic selected from a menu.

The address book is not present in the organizer. It is a full screen of fields for a complete business contact. Each phone number can be dialed by pressing a button to the right of the number and a photo can be added to each address entry as an IFF file. This address book can be linked to your organizer, for what I don't really know. The entire program is hampered by not having an English documentation file. Right now that is only available in German. As far as the actual data file security is concerned, well, there seems to be little. I see no way to password-protect your database though the file is saved as a binary on the drive making it harder to read without the program.

Installation:Simply use the included installer script. It puts the program and all support files in its own directory and the large CanDo.Library in your Libs: drawer. That's right, I didn't tell you? Yea, this program is made with CanDo.

Configuration:Configuration of some of the features is through a convenient setup program accessable through its own icon or through the main menu. It's fairly self-explanatory.


Up To Date

Sebastian Rieger

Untere Steinkuhle 10
31061 Alfeld
GERMANY
Write to him at email address s.rieger@mail.dhd.de
Or write to him at sysop@ncarrier.leine.de
ATTRIBUTES
PERCENTAGE
COMMENT
Installation:
Ease of use:
Compatibility:
Performance:
Features:
Interaction with company:
97%
85%
85%
85%
90%
NA%
Uses Commodore's Installer program
Custom GUI that looks like an Organizer
Some fonts can mess up screen a little
Sometimes slow to react
More than enough useful features
NA
Overall Score:
88.4%

SYSTEM REQUIREMENTS

Amiga, AmigaDOS 2.0, Motorola 68000, Hard Disk with at least 1.5 Megs free space
(Required)
Amiga, AmigaDOS 3.1, Motorola 68030
(Recommended)

Comparison

Always the hardest part, so I'll start with the easy parts. Both are easy to install and both make great address books. Here's where they divert. Everyday Organizer is easier to use and more configurable than Up To Date which is more comprehensive. Basically it boils down to this: if you are looking for a place to keep your addresses and store some birthdays and anniversaries, go with the free Everyday Organizer. If you are looking to use your Amiga to help schedule business meetings and keep track of contacts and business projects, spend the money and get Up To Date. Both packages are very good and you get to try them both out for free simply by downloading them from Aminet.


-By Anthony Becker-
Write to him at email address commodoreuser@juno.com